My company policy, like many, states Monday mornings are orientations for all new staff hired on that week. Monday mornings are a day to build anew, refresh, and reiterate the importance of working safely. Monday mornings are the beginning of a strong foundation of a safety culture.

I used to hate Monday mornings, but now I live for them. After losing my brother Luke, to a construction site incident when he was just 26, I realized the significance of training all workers, especially new and young workers, on the importance of health and safety. It was at that time I decided to become part of the solution, rather than let the problem swallow me whole. When I began reflecting on the statistics that indicate every day in Ontario an average of nearly 20 young workers under the age of 25 sustain lost-time injuries or are killed on the job, it became evident to me that training accurately and early is tremendously important.

During these Monday morning orientations, we reiterate more times than I can count the importance of asking questions and knowing their three basic rights. After their orientation, new workers have access to my direct cell phone number, my e-mail address and where I sit in the building. I need them to know they can come to me to discuss any concerns they have when it comes to their health and their safety. It is important for me that they know and understand that asking questions makes one look more competent, rather than the contrary. Asking questions means you’re running risk assessments in your head, and it means you fully understand the scope of the work. It shows your presence in the activities being performed and demonstrates your willingness to complete the work without incident.

These Monday mornings are a time to ensure understanding. But they are also much more than that. Monday mornings are a time for you to make your commitment to your supervisor, your colleagues, yourself and your family to work safely each and every day.

It is my hope that with Monday mornings come many more safe and healthy days ahead.

Photo of smiling young man in tank top. Reads: RIP Luke Patrick Penny Gone but never forgotten April 17 1984-May 19 2010
Trish Penny
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